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Old 09-13-2006, 07:48 AM
 
36 posts, read 200,903 times
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My husband and I have been thinking of moving to Denver. I've lived in Florida most of my life. My two oldest daughters (22 & 20) have lived here since they were 5 and 3 (now in Colleges here in FL) and my 14 year old was born and raised in Central Florida (near Orlando) and is on 9th grade.

I am tired of the extreme heat and humidity. Florida is beautiful, but there isn't much to do here but the beach (if you can afford hurricane insurance nowadays) and fishing. I don't like fishing and I work at the beach.

My husband and I have a Destination Wedding business. He is a photographer and I marry couples. We do tons of "beach weddings" which are very popular here in Florida.

We've travel West before and LOVED IT! In Florida you spend 8 months out of 12 inside due to the heat, humidity of rain (is NOT California people, trust me). We love the outdoors and are looking forward to be able to live outside our home for a change!

We bought our house a few years ago before the prices went "off the roof", therefore, if we sell in the near future, we should have a good money to buy another one.

I would like to get opinions from people that live or have lived in Denver. Do you think I have a good chance to start a similar "outdoor" wedding business in the Denver area? How popular are destination weddings there? If Outdoor is not possible, maybe a "chapel" somewhere that is not up in the mountains?

Finally, we are originally from the Caribbean (US Territory, therefore, we are US citizens, not immigrants) and because we look Hispanic and the immigrant issue is so heated all over the US, I would like to consider a place where diversity is welcome and we won't be pre-judge because of the way we look or automatically "assume" we are Mexican.

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:30 PM
 
Location: SE Denver
61 posts, read 347,414 times
Reputation: 51
I am a Tampa native and I dread going "home" to see friends and family. I moved here in 1996 and wished I had moved here in the 70's after college. Low crime, low humidity, no roaches, no fleas, 300 days of sunshine. Lots of good areas to move to. Outdoors and athletic mentality, and the leanest state in the US. Over 600 miles of paths/walkways in metro Denver! Hispanics are part of our culture - I work with, party with, live next door to...it just isn't an issue in my opinion.
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Old 09-14-2006, 08:33 AM
 
36 posts, read 200,903 times
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Thank you so much SouthDenverGuy! It just seems a bit scary when I visited CA in July with all that is going on right now (not that I'm blaming anyone) - but I don't want to get "caught up" in stupid politics if you know what I mean. I am an American that has always worked hard for what I have, respect everyone, was raised not to judge an entire race because a few noisy or bad "apples" and expect to be treated the same - that's all.

By the way - My daughter is a USF graduate and lives in Tampa now but she wants to get out of there - traffic is the worst in Florida after Miami - even worst than LA! Thanks again.
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Old 09-14-2006, 10:41 AM
 
Location: SE Denver
61 posts, read 347,414 times
Reputation: 51
Cflmmo,
After living a large part of my life in Tampa and Atlanta, Denver is the first place/time I have ever considered "home."
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:13 AM
 
12 posts, read 79,183 times
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CFLMMO,

I can offer some things to consider about Denver vs. Florida.

I understand the desire to live in the Denver area, or anywhere in Colorado for that matter. I too am feeling "stuck" in Florida, Tampa in fact, and I yearn to return to Colorado. I lived in Denver for 11 years from high school through several years after college. At that time, I was in need of a change and I came to Florida. I fell in love with it here (except for the humidity and bugs) and have been here for 18 years. But the love affair with Florida ended several years ago for multiple reasons and it's getting worse here every year.

Now, after vacationing in Colorado twice in the last 2 years--the first time I've returned since moving out in 1988--I've realized how much I miss it there. You can take me out of the mountains but you can't take the mountains out of me. My wife is ready to move there NOW and reminds me of this daily . If I wasn't a "prisoner of my income" here, we'd be loading up the moving truck tomorrow. What stops me from having that moving truck here tomorrow is that we'd both have to quit our jobs and move out there with no new job secured. I can't bring myself to take that risk right now. My experience has been that long distance job searches are practically impossible and too expensive these days. You at least own a business and can employ yourself.

You're right on with the major negatives about Florida. Colorado isn't perfect, though. Even though I've not lived in Colorado for 18 years, I can offer the following points of consideration having lived there before (and I've been doing a lot of research lately on this very subject):

1. The cost of living is higher in Colorado than Florida, though the gap is closing with the aforementioned housing and insurance costs we're strapped with in Florida now. The cost of homes is comparable between the 2 states, but they're definitely higher in Colorado. However, it appears that the real estate taxes are lower in Colorado.

2. Colorado has a state income tax of 4.63% of your taxable income. Florida has no such tax. This does add up and should be considered if you're thinking of relocating there. Parts of Denver also have a local tax, though it's nowhere near the state tax percentage.

3. The cost of registering your car every year is substantially higher in Colorado than in Florida. Here I only pay $36/year for my license plates. Colorado would be about $300/year now, decreasing a bit as the car depreciates each year thereafter. This is something that would take me some getting used to (again). I'd feel like I was being robbed every year just renewing my license plates.

4. I'm not sure the average wages paid in Colorado are any higher than what we get in Florida, at least not in my field (payroll administration). With the state tax issue and the higher cost of living you better be making more in Colorado than in Florida or you'll feel the "squeeze." I'm sure this contributes to Colorado's very high foreclosure rate.

5. Car insurance costs about the same in both states, but homeowners insurance is less in Colorado for obvious reasons. I'll take the occasional short-term blizzard and mild tornado risk in Colorado over the widespread massive destruction of entire cities from major hurricanes that take many years to recover from any day.

6. Snow. And it gets cold in Colorado, something a person who's lived in the warm weather as long as you have will find that it takes time to get used to. The good news is that it doesn't snow as much in Denver as people think it does. And it doesn't stay on the ground for months on end like it does in, say, Michigan (speaking from experience).

I'd take the "negatives" of Denver over the negatives of Tampa any day. Best of luck if you make the move. Wish I could say we were doing the same.
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:11 AM
 
20,308 posts, read 37,804,669 times
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Default WARP7, wish you were here....

.....its Aspen color time now....was in Grand Lake this weekend, riding horses, enjoying the best scenery and friendliest people on earth.... a few heavy flurries .... snow on the peaks ....Trail Ridge was closed above Estes Park....

Here's my pix of last year's trees up near Cripple Creek

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Old 09-24-2006, 08:49 PM
 
Location: SE Denver
61 posts, read 347,414 times
Reputation: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
.....its Aspen color time now....was in Grand Lake this weekend, riding horses, enjoying the best scenery and friendliest people on earth.... a few heavy flurries .... snow on the peaks ....Trail Ridge was closed above Estes Park....

Here's my pix of last year's trees up near Cripple Creek

Mike,
You said it all! I love this state!
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
649 posts, read 2,649,602 times
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Great picures Mike! SHEP
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Old 09-28-2006, 02:18 PM
 
Location: SE Denver
61 posts, read 347,414 times
Reputation: 51
This weekend, I took my 4 yr old grandson with my wife to Georgetown to ride the Georgetown Loop steam train. Aspens were fire orange/gold, snowing, 38 deg, on the train in an open car. We had a blast!
Drove west to work Monday morning and all the front range mountains over 10k ft were covered in snow with a brillant blue sky!
We knew it was more expensive when we moved here, but it doesn't matter to me. All about quality of life!
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:18 AM
 
20,308 posts, read 37,804,669 times
Reputation: 18087
Default SouthDenverGuy

You said it all. We are doubly fortunate; we came from a high cost area (Fairfax County, VA) with a lot of money from our old home ($500k). We now have a great affordable home ($550k), half of what it would cost back east ($1M+), which is unaffordable to us.

s/Mike
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